Major Global Defense Companies Aim to Expand Presence in South Korean Market at Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition

SEOUL - Major global defense companies convened in South Korea at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) to showcase advanced military hardware and reiterate their focus on the South Korean market.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, the biennial event, located at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam just south of Seoul, featured 550 companies from 35 countries and concluded its six-day run on Sunday.

Companies such as Airbus, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin emphasized their existing footprint in South Korea and expressed aspirations for further expansion. Francisco Javier Sanchez Segura, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus Defense and Space, underscored the role of the company's multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft in the South Korean Air Force. "We believe the MRTT is the right choice for the needs of the country as we have demonstrated with the batch one, and we expect to be successful with the batch two," Segura stated at a press briefing on Wednesday.

South Korea currently employs four KC-330 tankers manufactured by Airbus and revealed plans last year to acquire additional air tankers.

In a similar vein, Randy Rotte, Boeing's Senior Director for International Business Development for the Asia-Pacific region, reaffirmed the company's commitment to the South Korean market, alluding to the challenging security conditions in the Asia-Pacific. John Kim, Director of Boeing's Korea Defense and Government Services, highlighted the company's long-standing relationship with South Korea, pointing to an investment of over US$4 billion in the past 15 years.

South Korea utilizes a wide array of Boeing's defense products, ranging from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and CH-47 transport helicopters to F-15K fighter jets.

Additionally, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) announced a letter of intent signed with Lockheed Martin to establish a strategic partnership. KAI anticipates this agreement to be a cornerstone for the companies' joint venture in South Korea's large utility helicopter acquisition project.

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